In February, the Indian men's cricket team selection committee announced the squad for the two-Test series against Sri Lanka, dropping players like Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ishant Sharma, and Wriddhiman Saha. The real drama unfolded on Twitter when Wriddhiman Saha revealed messages from a journalist who threatened him. Despite support from former cricketers, Wriddhiman Saha chose not to disclose the journalist's identity.
This Wriddhiman Saha news highlighted the contentious relationship between Indian cricketers and the media.
This strained relationship has been brewing for over a decade. In 2018, former head coach Ravi Shastri hinted at a disconnect between the team and the media, stating that people were happy when they lost in India. Virat Kohli, then captain, also had tense press conferences during the South Africa tour. The divide continued as India transitioned to new leadership under Rohit Sharma.
Contrast this with the past, when cricketers were more relaxed while interacting with the media. Journalists like Sharda Ugra recall times when players freely chatted off the record, fostering a congenial atmosphere. However, this changed around 2007, following India's disappointing World Cup exit. The rise of television media and sensationalism further strained the relationship.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni's captaincy marked a turning point. Dhoni, scarred by the media's treatment post-World Cup exit, became media-averse. This attitude extended to the Indian team, with players limiting interactions to mandatory press conferences. Access dwindled, and players started controlling their narratives through social media.
With the IPL's rise in 2008, players found new avenues to connect with fans and sponsors, further sidelining traditional media. Players realised they could monetise interviews, dictating terms on questions. The media's role shifted from critic to cheerleader, especially as commentators had to be cautious in their critiques.
In the last decade, a group of pseudo-journalists emerged, blurring the lines between media and player management. They offered financial benefits, influenced team selections, and planted rumours. These individuals wielded power and could threaten players for not complying.
This recent standoff of Wriddhiman Saha with the media exemplifies this toxic nexus. While Wriddhiman Saha openly criticised cricket journalism and revealed conversations with top cricket officials, he protected the identity of the threatening journalist, showcasing the skewed dynamics.
In light of this Wriddhiman Saha news, the future appears bleak for media relations in Indian cricket.
The rift among sportspersons and reporters may also widen in addition, with restrictions on shrivelled players' interactions. The loss lies inside the untold memories of cricketers, whose legacies might also be remembered through Instagram feeds.
In the end, the poisonous relationship between Indian cricketers and the media has evolved over time, with players increasingly controlling their narratives through social media and other channels, leaving traditional journalism in the lurch.
What is the recent Wriddhiman Saha news?
Wriddhiman Saha’s news indicated him being embroiled in a controversy associated with threatening messages from a journalist and discussions about his retirement from cricket.
How did the cricketing community react to Wriddhiman Saha's state controversy?
Many former cricketers, including Ravi Shastri, Harbhajan Singh, and Virender Sehwag, supported Wriddhiman Saha and urged him to expose the journalist's call.
How has social media impacted the connection between cricketers and the media?
Social media has allowed cricketers to communicate directly with fans, decreasing their reliance on conventional media for sharing their views and memories.
What does the future look like for the relationship between cricketers and the media in India?
It is uncertain whether or not the relationship will enhance, but it is likely to remain strained, with players having greater manipulation over their narratives.